Our health is obviously a very important aspect that needs to be constantly addressed. However, being at University can sometimes mean that we at times push our health to the side in order to achieve what we have to achieve. Whether it be staying up late to finish readings or assessments, saying no to that Wednesday afternoon bike ride or even skipping lunch because we simply have no time between lectures.
Sometimes we can feel pushed to the point of insanity. I don’t want to speak for everyone but I’m pretty sure university quite easily invites quite a lot of stress into our lives if we aren’t careful.
Stress is a natural feeling, which is designed to help us cope in challenging situations. It is good, but only in small amounts as it pushes you to work hard and do your best. However, when stress gets the better of us, it can be very detrimental to our health and cause quite a lot of problems. These problems can include anxiety, depression, sleeping problems and overall irritability, which can quite massively affect the way you perform both in university life and even your social personal life. I have been a victim of too much stress, specifically during the last few years of high school. During then I was very unhealthy and had quite a few problems arousing because of stress, one being the unfortunate reoccurrence to pass out quite frequently.
Because of this I find this topic quite interesting, and I would like to propose looking at the types of health services that the University of Wollongong provides in order to conquer or manage these issues and how likely students are to use these services that are provided. I think this top will be very interesting to look at, and in turn highlight how students manage their health and feelings when under pressure.
UOW wellbeing is a student amenities fee which is a funded initiative. It aims to build the capacity of students to be proactive in managing their health and wellbeing during their degree and beyond. This program is built to be able to be accessed in three important ways; in the center, out on campus and online. These services give students accessible resources and information that will maximise their university experience. In doing this it allows for a more holistic approach to health and wellbeing for students instead of a fragmented service.
At first glance of the UOW support and wellbeing page, it’s quite clear that the university has a range of activities that are provided to students in order to improve their wellbeing. Whether it be counselling programs, disability programs or even workshops. This is a great start in helping individuals deal with stress or even personal matters that could make studying at university ten times harder. However, the question is, do students actually use these services, or are they taken for granted. Its great and all to see these programs being run, but how many student turn up frequently to these workshops to de-stress and relax?
For this project I plan on on using questionnaires as a method in finding information out about my chosen topic. These questionnaires will consist of recording responses to a range of open and closed questions, by asking a range of different questions I will gain insight on peoples attitudes, opinions and ideas towards my research project. The questionnaires that I will be creating will mainly be done through a survey sight like ‘survey monkey’. In using this site as my platform it will make it easier for my questions to be reached to a wider UOW student audience and in turn generate more answers to my questions, rather then a physical form questionnaire which is limited to the amount you can pass out.
I would also like to talk to the people at the wellbeing center in order to find out an estimate on how many people turn up to these events that they hold. I think it would be interesting to find out and the information that I get back will be reliable as they take part in these workshops, and have first hand information available for me to discover.
I believe doing this research will show if these workshops are effective with university students and in turn could help the university find out what they could do to improve their responses to students feeling stressed, anxious and depressed. It could also gain awareness of the available programs for students which could boost their recognition.
- Choices, N. (2014) Student stress – live well – NHS choices. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/studenthealth/Pages/Copingwithstress.aspx (Accessed: 26 March 2016).
- bgoldie (2013) A first for student experience — UOW wellbeing centre opening. Available at: http://media.uow.edu.au/releases/UOW146114.html (Accessed: 25 March 2016).